Samsung has filed for patents for a new Gear VR with attachment accessories according to Patently Mobile who has gotten their hands on a number of the patent images, which show off the new version of the headset that will allow it to attach multiple different accessories geared towards their own specific uses. The first of the changes looks to be Samsung's plans for a new clear shell plate that covers the connected smartphone that sits in the headset. According to the patent details the new plate will be made of a clear glass material, but will also allow for users to see through the plate using the phone's rear-facing camera, as well as use the camera to take pictures and immediately see them in the virtual space.
While this is sure to be useful and could allow for more of a freedom of movement while the headset is being worn, it doesn't look like the only change Samsung wants to make. One patent shows that Samsung is considering the idea of giving the Gear VR a new detachable trackpad, or rather providing a detachable trackpad that can be used as an optional accessory for input and control of virtual content while the headset is being used. This new attachment would plug into the side of the device and on the same side where the phone plugs into the headset.
While scrolling through content can already be done with the use of the trackpad that sits on the current headset, as well as with the new Gear VR controller, and with this new attachment, it looks like Samsung has envisioned a simpler way of scrolling through content when the user has to scroll a lot. The second patent below shows a wheel key accessory that would plug into the same spot as the detachable trackpad, and would allow for easy and continuous scrolling in a circular motion similar to the way you might use a dial for turning volume up and down on a car stereo or home theater system. Samsung also seems to have a vision for a second detachable trackpad accessory that includes a trackball for scrolling, as well as some new applications that would be available for the headset that would be geared towards shoppers. With the shopping application it's being positioned as a virtual shopping mall where consumers could pick up and look at items from different angles as if they were actually viewing them while shopping. It also looks like Samsung might be looking into being able to have the Gear VR interface with drones, and allow the user to view what the drone sees with an application that can show the user a panoramic view of the images. Since these are just patents at the moment there's no telling when or if they'll ever become part of a production ready Gear VR offering, but with Samsung's second Unpacked event coming up later on this year perhaps it'll talk more about these designs at that time.